Barbados hotels could cut rates to boost tourism
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) -- The head of the hotel and tourism
association believes Barbadian hotels are going to have to cut rates by half if
they hope to attract visitors after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the
Allan Banfield, president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association,
the number of tourists from Britain, who make up the majority of visitors, could
drop by at least 15 percent. Travel by Americans, who account for about 30
percent, may drop by at least 50 percent.
Leaders in the industry were meeting Sunday to discuss an emergency plan
with the decline. Banfield said hotels must press utilities and suppliers for better
deals. Other officials said job cuts will be inevitable.
"Revenues are plummeting, and for us to be able to survive through this
have to be able to reduce our costs," Banfield said. "If tourism fails, the economy
of Barbados will fail. We are going to have to share this burden."
Prime Minis ter Owen Arthur has warned the country is "facing the prospect
economic catastrophe." His administration has been working to create a new
national economic plan.
In Jamaica, which also relies heavily on tourism, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson
his government would announce measures later this week to deal with the
"It's still too early to calculate the loss in terms of dollars and cents,"
Sunday at the annual conference for his People's National Party. "In tourism,
everyone from Air Jamaica to the taxi man and the craft vendor is going to suffer."
The chairman of Air Jamaica, Gordon "Butch" Stewart, estimated his company
lost $11 million since the attacks.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.